In recent years, the ever-flowing stream of dope hip hop on the internet has become almost too much to bear. In the infinite sea of emcees and producers, who’s really worth checking out?
Luckily for you guys, your resident hip hop nerd is here to sort through the mediocre and bring you only the dopest of the dope on a monthly basis.
October has been an especially insane month for dope music you might not hear on the radio any time soon, so let’s get straight to it. Roll one up and let’s go off the grid.
Standout Tracks: “Hard Times” ft. Nesby Phips / “I Know” ft. Curren$y & Smoke DZA
After giving us the incredibly dope Route The Ruler mixtape back in April, Jet Life Records’ most exciting talent Young Roddy is back with some heat.
Roddy has a triple threat going for him right now. Firstly, his voice is infectious as hell. I could listen to him rap about damn near anything and it would sound dope. Secondly, Roddy’s ear for production is top notch. He knows exactly what kind of beats he sounds the best over, but he’s not afraid to venture out and try new things.
Lastly, Roddy is one of the original Jet Life protege’s meaning he’s got head honcho Curren$y’s mind-blowing work ethic behind him, so there will never be a shortage of dope Roddy material, you can bet on that.
Legal Dealing is another solid addition to Jet Life’s exponentially expanding catalog.
Standout Tracks: All of them. Genuinely all of them.
Guys, the fucking Flatbush Zombies have teamed up with the fucking Underachievers and released the gnarliest fucking EP of forever.
Alright, the initial mind-fuckery is behind us, but what’s not is how insanely dope this project is. Two of the most relentless East Coast acts out right now have joined forces for a super-group / super tour by the name of Clockwork Indigo.
Given that the two acts have appeared on tracks together before, this was a no-brainer, however that is not to say the dope level of this project could have ever been anticipated by human minds. This EP fucking goes.
I really don’t know what else to tell you. If you dig the shit that’s been coming out of the Beast Coast movement lately, you need to hear this immediately.
Standout Tracks: “H2O (feat. Pharoahe Monch & Rakaa Iriscience)” / “Giraffe Pussy (feat. Royce The 5’9″, Xzibit & Bishop Lamont)”
This is the first project on this month’s list so far that isn’t free, and trust me, it’s 100% worth every penny.
Let’s start this out by noting that Apollo Brown is one of the dopest and at the same time most slept on producers of our time, which makes sense seeing as how his motto is, “”Everything I make, I try to make it my favorite album of all time.”
Then there’s Ras Kass, one of the illest lyricists around. How ill is he? Let’s just say he’s currently part of a super group with Canibus, Killah Priest, and Kurupt…so, that ill.
On Blasphemy, the chemistry is palpable and there’s not a single skip-able song, so do yourself a favor and pick up this masterpiece.
Standout Tracks: “Money Baby” / “Candler Road”
What started as, “Oh shit, the dude from Community has a mixtape out?” a few short years ago has flourished into a full fledged frenzy for new Donald Glover material.
Childish Gambino has proven that the actor-turned-rapper is a real thing (and probably works out better than any rapper-turned-actor scenario we can think of. Looking at you Ludacris) and has since amassed a dedicated following of intelligent yet fun-loving hip hop heads who can appreciate an awesome dick punchline just as much as a scathing social commentary.
On STN MTN, Childish sets out to prove that he can pretty much do whatever the fuck he wants, tackling beats from many of the same Atlanta-based artists that he no doubt came up listening to. He also shows that he can come just as strong with some “street” music than he can with the normal brand of insightful and experimental hip hop we’ve grown accustomed to from him.
STN MTN is a free mixtape that serves as an appetizer of sorts for his EP Kauai which is available now. You should probably go ahead and cop both.
Standout Tracks: Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck) (ft. Zack De La Rocha” / “Early ft. BOOTS”
If I’m being honest, I’ve been anxiously waiting to write about this project for a minute now.
In this humble blogger’s opinion, Run The Jewels are easily one of the dopest and most exciting acts out today, and will for sure go down in the hip hop history books as one of the dopest duo’s of all time.
Both El-P and Killer Mike have had extremely solid careers on their own, with El-P founding Def Jux records in the 90s and Killer Mike’s storied history with the Dungeon Family clique (and several dope guest spots on Outkast tracks), but it wasn’t until 2012 when El-P produced Killer Mike’s album R.A.P. Music that the world would realize that they done fucked up by letting these two get into a studio together.
Killer Mike is consistently getting Scarface comparisons these days, and rightfully so. His eloquent brand of street wisdom is complimented perfectly by El-P’s absolutely bonkers production. Let’s also not forget that El-P is entirely capable of spitting a verse that will have you rewinding several times, which is a rarity among producers of his caliber.
Run The Jewels is brash, political, hood, aggressive, and hypnotic all at the same time and is the front runner for many’s “album of the year” list…oh and it’s free…oh and they got a fucking rap verse from Zach De La Rocha of Rage Against The Machine. Yeah.
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